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WARNING: Machine tools present a safety hazard. Improper operation can result in severe injury. These topics are for non-laboratory study only and are not to be used in conjunction with the operation of any tool or machine described herein. Never use a machine tool without the supervision of a qualified instructor.
The basic parts of a horizontal optical comparator are the same from brand to brand and size to size.

The stage (1) is used to hold and align the part or part-fixture being inspected. It has milling machine-like slots that hold various types of fixturing.

The stage is moved left and right by turning a handle (2) like the one shown above.

Attached to the stage will be a stand-off rod (3) that can be adjusted as a stop to prevent the stage from moving beyond a certain point.

Another motion of stage is in and out for focusing. There will be a hand knob or handle similar to the one shown above (4).

There are a number of part holding fixtures (5) available for each style or brand of optical comparator.

An adjusting handle for vertical movement will be somewhere below the stage (6)

Interchangeable lenses (7) change magnification on the screen to 10x ,20x, 50x, etc

Another stage fixture I have used is modeling clay. After dressing a fine contour on a grinding wheel a piece of shim stock is ground on the wheel to form an opposite profile. The piece of shim would then be stuck into a lump of clay on the stage and inspected. R.S.
The screen of an optical comparator can be rotated by turning a knob as shown above.

A full 360 degrees of rotation is possible and quite often necessary

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label: optical comarator, sizes, function, screen, overlay, measuring, manual, DRO,